The four-time Olympic gold medalist and 25-time World Championships medalist Simone Biles has more than her fair share of things to be confident about.

But as a young black girl competing in a sport historically dominated by white and Asian athletes, Biles didn’t always boast the self-assurance she now exudes as the greatest gymnast in the history of the sport.

While promoting her partnership with the skincare brand SK-II, Biles spoke at length about her struggles with social-media trolls, the public fixation on her appearance, and the effect race had on both. Biles and several other Olympic athletes joined the company’s Beauty is #NoCompetition campaign, which draws attention to the toxic role physical appearance often plays in women’s sports.

“Growing up, you don’t see a lot of African American gymnasts,” Biles said during a promotional event moderated by the television personality and journalist Katie Couric. “I remember when Gabby Douglas won I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, if she can do it, then I can do it.’”

“Then I wanted to work harder,” she added.